Art Projector Buyer’s Guide


>> Download the Projector Buyer’s Guide (PDF) << 


The art projector, which has been a handy tool for artists and designers  for just about forever, took a major leap in technology last year when the  innovative Digital Art Projector LED200 was introduced by Artograph.

This giant leap in technology allowed the artist to use images directly  from any digital source without the need to print and fool around with  the size of the image prior to mounting it into the standard projector.  Digital images can now be projected onto any surface instantly, plus the  image can be easily and quickly adjusted for color, size or orientation.

Artograph also embedded 6 artist grids to aid in composition and layout.  This was a great advancement in projectors, but now, Artograph has  raised the bar another notch with the soon to be launched LED300. It  has all the features of the LED200 with 50% more illumination and twice  the resolution. It also has 3 times the number of grids and more image
controls. Times are a changing.

Opaque art Projectors:

The current simple, reliable, and cost-effective  technology of a mirror, a light source, and a lens has provided the artist with a projector that  makes composing, scaling, and transferring an  image onto any surface easy and convenient.

Merely place your original image on or in the  copy opening/holder of the projector, darken  the projection room, and direct the image onto your work surface, focus, and trace. When using  a typical art projector, your original copy should be opaque—a photo, drawing, or any printed  copy—and caution should be exercised against  using original or heirloom photographs to protect them from potentially harmful exposure to  extreme heat and brightness; always use a copy of the original. Opaque projectors improve productivity, save time, money, and sanity, and are  available in all types, shapes, costs, and makes.

With so many projectors on the market, the decision can be a difficult one, so here are some considerations to help you make the right choice.

Copy Area

The copy opening or copy board is the area on an  opaque projector that holds the original photo  or artwork. This could be on a glass plate, inside  the projector door, or simply under the projector (bottom loading). The copy area varies in size  depending on the model. If your original image is  larger than the copy area, simply shift it around and trace it in sections to get your final drawing,  or scale it down to size with a copier or computer  (this also serves to lessen the distortion of tracing  that occurs with having to tile an oversized reference). Additionally, some opaque projectors are
capable of working with 3-D objects.


The clarity of your projections depends on the quality of the lens. Better lenses will have glass
elements with color-corrective coating. Many high-end projectors have more than one element, which means a clearer and brighter projected image


The brightness of your image depends on your  light source. Photo and halogen bulbs offer a very  bright and white light, but they’re more expensive,  fragile, and can be quite hot. It’s also harder to find  replacements for these bulbs. Fluorescent lamps  are an excellent choice for smaller projectors as  they are relatively cool, offer a nice white light, and
have a very long lamp life. Regular household bulbs  are the least costly, but they offer a lower spectrum  of wave length, thereby creating a yellow-tinged  light. If you’re just tracing patterns, color won’t  matter much, but for detailed or colored photos, photo or halogen bulbs provide better results.

Image size

You adjust the size of a projected image by modifying the distance between the projector and the  projection surface or in some cases, changing a  lens. Most projectors are designed to enlarge an  image, though a few offer a reversible lens that  provides reduction.

Horizontal and Vertical Projectors

Horizontal projection (from a table to a vertical surface) gives you more flexibility with enlargement,  but vertical projection provides a more convenient  work area. Some projectors are suitable for a table  stand so they can work either way. Most projectors can be used for horizontal projection, and the  purchase of a floor stand can aid artists in their  work. On some models, the stand is included in the  purchase price, but on others, there’s an additional  cost to purchase one.

Digital Art Projectors

Digital projectors have been around in many forms  for several years as a device used in meetings, presentations, and even projection television. Enterprising artists, designers, and muralists certainly  took advantage of this technology to replace the  common overhead transparency projector. However, these projectors were expensive, the halogen
bulbs were fragile and expensive to replace, and  the input capabilities were limited. A few years  ago, LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology began  showing up in projectors. Then last year, Artograph  made every artist throw out their old opaque projector with the introduction of the game-changing Digital Art Projector LED200. Partnering with LG Technologies, the LED200 offered features that were light years beyond any other art projector  on the market. Sure there were other digital projectors available, but Artograph focused (pardon the  expression) on the needs of the artist and designer.

They started with the state-of-the-art technology  that LG was known for and then built in features  specifically for the artist and designer and it became one of the most successful products they  ever introduced. Now they are preparing to introduce the next version to meet the needs of those serious artists who want even more. The soon to be released LED300 offers 50% more illumination with the same 30,000 hour-life LED lamps and the resolution has been doubled (sharper pictures). There are several other new features, but let’s just say that this new digital direction is great news for the artist, designer and anyone who has experienced  the value of using a projector.

Just like buying an airbrush or a compressor, purchasing a projector is an investment in your career.  It’s always a good idea to get the best possible product you can afford. Although some high-end models  cost upwards of $1,000, our Buyer’s Guide features  projectors for just about any budget, and with the  advent of digital technology, the choices are even  better and ever expanding. Use the charts to compare the full range of options—price, lenses, copy  capacity, accessories, replacement parts, warranties,  etc.—to help you make the best selection.



>> Download the Projector Buyer’s Guide (PDF) << 

One Response to Art Projector Buyer’s Guide

  1. Claudine De Vroey April 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    I live in Belgium. Where can I see your Artograph 300 led in demonstration ?
    where can it be bought in Belgium (Europe 😉

Leave a Reply

Airbrush Action Magazine's March - April 2016 Issue is now available -- Print and Digital Edition!

AIrbrush Action Diamond Collection: All Issues from 1985-2013